2013 Volkswagen CC V6

The Good:
– Stylish exterior styling
– Surprisingly fast
– Great ride and handling
The Bad:
– Conservative cabin styling
– Quirky gearbox behaviour
– Limited feedback from controls

What do you get when you cross a family sedan with a marketing department? A “four-door” coupe! Of course, Volkswagen did not think of it first with the CC. That honour goes to Mercedes-Benz. But VW can be credited with bringing this confused-yet-stylish genre of cars within reach of consumers who don’t want to pay up for an overpriced Mercedes-Benz.

The Volkswagen CC, as it’s now called after dropping the “Passat” from its name due to confused customers, is a rather stylish car in the flesh. Facelifted up front, with new tail lamps and not much else, it continues to look good for 2013. Our tester came with 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust tips and a panoramic glass roof. It looks even better with the optional 19-inch alloys.

The nearly-unchanged interior looks very simplistic, but materials are premium for the most part. The upper dash and door panels are all squishy materials, the door inserts have softer leather than before, and the central console looks to be real aluminium, with some wood trim breaking up the upper and lower halves of the cabin. The two-tone look is nicely done, but just like in the old model, the front passenger has to stare at a blank hard-plastic dashboard panel above the glove-box, which is about the only bit of cheapness found in an otherwise luxury-grade interior.

The fact that the Volkswagen CC is just a chopped-top version of the Euro-spec Passat would mean that space would be compromised, but that’s hardly the case. Six-footers can sit in those thickly-bolstered seats both up front as well as in the back. Rear legroom is pretty good, about as much as a Nissan Maxima. And the boot is only slightly smaller than that of a Toyota Camry, and comes with several hooks to hang grocery-bags. That stylish shape hardly comes with any practical penalty.

Features include a touchscreen that integrate the good CD/MP3 stereo, navigation, Bluetooth phone and certain other settings, with shortcut buttons on the sides to cut down on the menu-surfing. The dual-zone automatic a/c is pretty good, with a quicker-to-use knob now replacing the buttons for fan speed, compared to the older model. Further features include power-adjustable front seats, USB port, cooled glove-box, HID headlights with turning feature and LEDs, fog lamps, cruise control, powered rear sunshade, rear camera with front/rear sensors, electric parking brake, four covered cup-holders, lots of airbags and more.

Our VW CC is not the basic 4-cylinder turbo front-wheel-drive model, but rather, the naturally-aspirated direct-injection 3.6-litre “FSI” V6 version, complete with 6-speed dual-clutch automanual gearbox and all-wheel-drive. The 300 hp engine is deceptively docile in normal ‘drive’ mode, but springs to life when the transmission is slipped into ‘sport’ mode, holding low gears and revving till redline. The 350 Nm of torque peaks at only 2400 rpm, and stays that much all the way till 5300 rpm. There is never any shortage of juice, even on highway overtaking, which is a weak point of the 2.0-litre turbo model. And we were burning only 11.5 litres/100 km on average.

The “DSG” gearbox functions like a proper automatic for the most part, the jerkiness of shifting only becoming apparent in sport mode. In normal mode, it can be annoyingly economical, refusing to downshift and what not, requiring a quick shift of the lever into sport mode to force earlier downshifts, quicker paddle-shift response and for holding gears longer. We got used to doing that as needed.

The V6 comes with an awesome proactive all-wheel-drive system, meaning there doesn’t need to be sandy surfaces or wet weather for it to send power to the back wheels. It just sends power to each wheel based on what gives the best traction, even in dry weather. Thanks to that, we managed a wheelspin-free 6.1 seconds in the 0-100 kph run with the older model, which had the exact same engine, in early-summer weather.

The VW’s handling matches up to its sporting acceleration too, with superb grip levels and imperceptible body roll, let down somewhat only by its disconnected feedback from the steering and the brake pedal. But that’s forgivable, considering how comfortable it is, more so than “luxury” cars like the Infiniti M56 S. The adjustable suspension offers three settings, with the softest “comfort” mode feeling distinctly different from the firmest “sport” mode, with even the steering firmness changing between modes. It was great to have this option, as we left it in “comfort” most of the time, switching to “sport” only when we felt frisky.

As we said before about the previous model, the VW CC is quite possibly the best midsize sedan we’ve ever driven in the entry-level “almost-luxury” field. It really is a car for all occasions, comfortable when needed and aggressive when necessary. No other midsize car in its price-range offers the ability to change personas on the fly like this one can. This one is going on our recommended list.

Price Range:
Dh 168,000-175,000

Current Model Introduced in:
2013

Body Styles:
4-door sedan

Engines:
3.6L 300 hp V6 / 350 Nm

Transmissions:
6-speed automatic

Setup:
Four-wheel-drive

Suspension:
Front: independent
Rear: independent

Brakes:
Front: discs
Rear: discs

Curb Weight:
1707 kg

Length:
4796 mm

Wheelbase:
2711 mm

Top Speed:
250 kph(limited)

Test Acceleration 0-100 kph:
6.1 sec.

Observed Test Fuel Economy:
11.5 litres/100km

24 comments to 2013 Volkswagen CC V6

  • ali-baba

    Everything has a price. A ferrari 458 italia is a great car; but i expect it to be so at over a million dirhams. I don’t think a gussied up passat is worth 170,000 no matter how great a balance between comfort and sportiness it might have. Nissan can perhaps also make a 4 wheel version of the maxima and charge more for it and it would be as good if not better than this passat CC.

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury

      Let’s just say the Nissan Maxima is one of the biggest disappointments I’ve ever driven, and leave it at that.

    • Shibu Daniel

      It is a fair price considering that you get the features and the German reliability for much less than a basic e class.

    • Ironman

      Have to agree with Mash, the Maxima indeed is a big disappointment.

    • ROJ

      The new Maxima is truly an example of a rushed product..

    • Bobby

      I dont think u know much about cars, why are many cars front wheel drive than rear wheel thats because it is expensive to make rear wheel drive cars, more resources are being used and the time and work to be set to make a car rear wheel is difficult! you talking about all wheel is a much difficult process needing labour time, money and energy, and resources! to cut down on cost and increase profit companies make front wheel drive! :)

      your welcome for the knowledge!

  • mohammad

    Absolutely beautiful car. Even the 2.0T is a billion times better than the Maxima or any Japanese car. Yeah it might be a BIT slower than the V6 Maxima, but get Stage 1 tune for AED 2,000 and it will be just as fast. And a lot of people will give you compliments for your CC than they would ever for your Maxima!

  • Ahmed fadel

    Do you know where can I do stage 1 tuning or any power upgrade ?
    I have BMW 316 naturally aspirated 1.6 (115hp)

    It is very slow and I wanna do anything for increasing power

    • M

      Sell it off and get a more powerful car. Trust me, I had the 2012 Jetta with the same problem (and probably the same 115hp engine).

  • Abdullah

    What about the Infiniti G37 ?,Can’t you compare it to it ?
    It’s both luxurious and probably sportier ;)

  • ali-baba

    Maxima aside, I don’t think I would be able to reccommend a Passat ( I admit, I have not driven the CC) to any of my friends for 175,000. This price is reaching into BMW 3 series, Infiniti and Lexus money. And it would have to take some serious advertising dollars to convince readers that Volkswagen [which is universally rated as the most unreliable conventional car maker in the world] is engineering cars upto the standards of the luxury heavy weights. Again, I’m not saying its a bad car (except of course parts that are built cheaply and crap out very quickly, read VW owner forums to get that info), only it not worth anywhere near 175,000 brand new. It might be a better idea to get the car off the used car market. Of course VW is probably only going to sell 45 passat CC’s in the middle east region so thats going to be hard to find.

    With regards to maxima being a dissappointment, you are automatically inferring that the more expensive Aurion (v6 camry with different lights) and older generation accord v6 are better cars than the maxima. In my opinion, that is not necessarily true.

    • Ironman

      Mind you, your getting a fully loaded 3.6ltr AWD CC for 175K … and u need to drive one to understand what Mash has been talking about here.

      Agreed, the much-much older VW models held that title of being unreliable but these days all that has changed. The newer VWs have a super fit and finish, reliable drive-trains and they are all backed with 5 years- unlimited mileage warranty. Services are every 15k kms, so easy to the pocket

      Honda Accord?? Wait and watch, the New 2013 model is going to be such a great ride but even the 2012 model (although not feature loaded) is still better than the present Maxima. Test Drive them both.. you’ll understand.

  • Nero

    The fact that you have never driven one makes all you have said pointless. And I did not read anyone in the comments saying the Accord or whatever is better. You said it, automatically.

  • ali-baba

    You may be right about the CC. But I have driven an accord. I have felt the complete cheaping out on sound deadening materials and felt the light heft of the door. I have also revved the crap out of the 2.4 and 3.5 Litre engines and noted their lack of grunt. I would give the steering an average, one step above a camry and 1 notch beneath the altima. Skinny tires don’t help handling either. I have personally knocked on all the interior plastics and sat in the rock hard seat to know that one would have to be a fanboy to say that the older generation accord is a magic mid-size sedan. The accord sells on interior volume/large size, nameplate reliablity and practicality (mind the cluster madness on the centre console).

  • Nicolidus

    I had an Infiniti G37 previously, and have just ordered my new VW CC V6 here in Qatar. The CC is way better to drive than the Infiniti, and I loved my G37.

  • Lotfi

    In regrads to ali-baba’s comments
    You cant even compare the cc v6 with the maxima, ive driven both and even tho i had alot of problems with my 2010 passat i can confindently say vw are MUCH better than nissan. You are paying japanese levels for a german car. The cc v6 is better than the maxima in every aspect. In regards to the infiniti im not sure which will be faster but im pretty sure the cc v6 will out handle the inifiniti and probably in terms of looks i prefered the last generation cc’s front end. Here in qatar they are selling the cc v6 for 155000 without navigation. That is a very fair price for a v6, AWD german car built side by side to audis. Ive watched a review on youtube recently that showed the cc v6 is a much better deal to the v6 audi a5 sportback that costs 220000QR. CC v6 is a truly surprising car, id love to own one, one day.
    Sorry if i offended u ali-baba but trust me just go test drive the cc v6 and u will c for yourself

  • azq

    Why would ali baba say vw is the most UNRELIABLE?. . . Look it up bro. Vw mechanics’ specially the beetle. R probably one of the best and simple to maintain

  • Wissam

    I am the happy owner of the 2011 CC 3.6 V6.
    I have over 36,000 km and I have not had any trouble with the car as of yet.

    I bought fully loaded with options. You name it you got it. I paid 155K in October 2010. A similarly Audi A5, with much less power would cost you an additional 100K.

    This car can still outperform any car in its price range, and most of the ones that are at least 50K more.

  • Devaiah

    Does anyone know the price difference between the reviewed car and the R-Line V6 CC ? According to the VW dealer here in Saudi , They dont have the 2013 V6 CC in stock , and they should be getting it in 2-3 months. However they did say that all V6 models they are getting are gonna be R-Line models. Gonna be a BIG upgrade from my Honda Civic.

  • Nicolidus

    The R-line is the same guts as the standard V6, but with a body kit and sports steering wheel. No difference to the performance, just looks smoking hot!

  • Devaiah

    @Nicolidus I know ! Im just wondering about the price. Custom wheels , fog lamps , grille , etc. Although Im not too sure if the R-line is going to get the flat bottomed steering wheel (like the golf GTi – perhaps the best steering wheel i’ve seen in any car so far)

  • Devaiah

    Just ordered mine ! Should be here in a week or so.

  • Big al

    Sorry Wissam, but you’re just plain wrong. The Subaru Legacy GT outperforms the CC and is considerably cheaper. Why nobody in the Middle East has clicked to Subaru yet i really don’t know.

    Why bother with a monster heavy 3.6 V6, when you can have a 2.5 boxer turbocharged???

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